Novartis in $1.1-Billion mAb Mfg Pact with MorphoSys, Galapagos

Novartis has formed a deal with MorphoSys AG, a Planegg, Germany-based developer of antibodies, and Galapagos NV, a Mechelen, Belgium-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, to develop and commercialize their joint investigational, fully human, IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against the target IL-17C in a deal with up to $1.1 billion ($111 million upfront and $1 billion in milestones).

Under the agreement, the parties will cooperate to broaden the existing development plan for the mAb in atopic dermatitis (AtD). Novartis will be exclusively holding all rights for commercialization of any products resulting from the agreement.

Upon signing the agreement, all future research, development, manufacturing and commercialization costs for the mAb will be borne by Novartis. MorphoSys and Galapagos will conduct additional trials to support development of the drug in AtD. Under the agreement, Novartis will explore the potential of the drug in additional indications other than AtD.

In addition to the funding of the current and future program by Novartis, MorphoSys, and Galapagos will jointly receive an upfront payment of EUR 95 million ($111 million). Pending achievement of certain developmental, regulatory, commercial and sales-based milestones, MorphoSys and Galapagos would jointly be eligible to receive milestone payments, potentially amounting to up to approximately EUR 850 million ($1 billion), in addition to tiered royalties on net commercial sales in the range of up to low-teens to low-twenties. Under their agreement from 2008, Galapagos and MorphoSys will share all payments equally (50/50).

The agreement between MorphoSys, Galapagos, and Novartis is subject to clearance by the US antitrust authorities under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and will become effective as soon as this condition has been met.

Source: MorphoSys

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